What Is An External Locus Of Control?

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Millions of people worldwide believe that there is a powerful force that controls their lives and the decisions they make. Because of this, social scientists have developed the term ‘locus of control.’ 

If you have no idea what this means, you have come to the right place. In this article, we will be discussing everything that there is to know about an external locus of control, including how it differs from an internal locus of control. 

Locus Of Control

Social scientists first introduced the term ‘locus of control’ in the 1950s. In short, it refers to a person’s basic belief system that influences the decisions that they make. More so, it discusses the force behind a person’s destiny or fate. 

According to this theory, there are two types of people in the world: those of us who believe that there is an external force influencing our lives and those who believe that we determine our own destinies. 

Internal Locus Of Control

A person who has an internal locus of control is someone who believes that they make their own choices and fate. Interestingly, research shows that these types of people are generally men and elderly folk. 

People with an internal locus of control tend to be happier and less stressed. Additionally, they are generally self-reliant and more successful than people who have an external locus of control. This is because they feel nothing can hold them back after they set a goal for themselves. 

External Locus Of Control

As you probably could have guessed, a person with an external locus of control is someone who believes that there is a powerful force that affects their choices and future. These people often find themselves demotivated, as they feel as if their actions do not influence the outcome of their lives. For this reason, they tend to be less successful than those with an internal locus of control. 

Fate, luck, and God are three fundamental ideas for these people. In fact, some even base their entire lives around these concepts and struggle to make any decisions on their own. This is why people with an external locus of control are generally less happy. 

Concluding Thoughts

The term locus of control was introduced in the 1950s and refers to a person’s belief system. Someone with an internal locus of control believes that their fate lies in their own hands. On the other hand, those with an external locus of control believe that a powerful force determines their future and decisions. These people tend to be less successful, unhappy, and unmotivated.

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